The man will never be forgotten, but the legacy of longtime gymnastic coach and mentor Chris Buccini will be assured next week with a celebration-of-life ceremony and dedication at the Greater Trail Community Centre (GTCC).
The Regional District and Trail Gymnastic Club (TGC) will honour Buccini’s memory Saturday, Apr. 20 by dedicating the GTCC’s gym in his name.
It’s only fitting that the facility be named the “Chris Buccini Memorial Gymnasium” in recognition of his many hours spent there coaching, raising funds for equipment, and years of devotion and commitment to young athletes.
“Chris pretty much was Trail gymnastics,” said Nicola Marynowski, TGC coach and colleague of Buccini’s for the past eight years. “He took over as head coach in the early 80s so he was here for over 30-plus years as head coach. It’s a long and inspiring legacy.”
Indeed the longtime Trail resident would have been in his 31st year as head coach of the club.
Buccini worked tirelessly to promote the TGC, watching it grow and develop over the years, and producing a number of regional and provincial champions. But it was his way of connecting with the young athletes that made him special.
He has coached over 3,000 young gymnasts, first at the Tadanac Hall and since 1990 at the Greater Trail Community Centre.
The Trail club has been tumbling for 51 years and is one of the longest running gymnastics clubs in B.C.
In 2009 Buccini was awarded the Gymnastics B.C. Member of Distinction Award and in 2010, the B.C. Sports Hero award from Sports B.C.
“Everyone who knew Chris is invited to come to share stories and memories,” said Marynowski. “He is greatly missed by all the kids, parents, and coaches, not to mention his own family and the larger gymnastic’s family as well.”
The dedication ceremony will go in the gym at 1 p.m. Saturday, Apr. 20 and there will be an open house from 1-4 p.m. in the senior’s centre at the GTCC, 1501 Cedar Avenue.